Book Reviews

Review by popular Mum’s website http://www.mumstown.iemumstown and see below:

“I’m bored!, can I play my tablet?, can I play my computer console?, nobody is out. I want to watch TV..I’m bored!!”
These are familiar sayings that children will say at certain times throughout the summer holidays or downtime from their usual routine.
Sadly it reflects our society today when children are entertained by means of technology. As a result it means children are now facing an era where imagination and social skills are diminishing; and playing by themselves happily will become a thing of the past.

Well fear not as a fabulous book “Up Up and A Play by Mary Rose Keane” reminds us of the simplicity of play and crafts and encourages parents to remember games and simple crafts that they once enjoyed for hours when they were children. Sparking their imagination once again and reminding them what being a child was once like before technology took over.

The book is full of lovely ideas for baking, lemonade making, ice cream making and party food ideas along with fun party games once enjoyed by all.
Kite making, paper fortune teller, marbles and much more.

Do you remember playing in large groups, playing games like kick the can? Hide and seek and red rover to name a few? Can you recall the fun you had? Well this book reintroduces you to these games that can be passed down to your children for them to enjoy.

Inspired by the book I took my children out gathered a few kids from the estate and asked them if they ever heard of the game red rover? Sadly the answer was no. Not long after going through the jist of the game the children started to play. I stood back and watched them play listening to them laughing and really engaging with one another. It was like how it should be on a summers day. Since then I’ve noticed the children showing others the game and asking about more “New” games to play.

For us its old games we are passing on but for this generation of tech kids it’s all new and exciting.

I can gladly say since receiving “Up Up and A Play” my children are asking to look at it and get ideas for entertaining themselves and their friends. It has reignited imagination and is now known as the magical fun book.

“Up Up and A Play” helps eliminate the “I’m bored” days and gets them active physically and mentally.

To find out what other little treasures lie within the book you have to check it out for yourself. Bring back the little carefree child in you and watch the magic found on the pages of the book ignite your child’s imagination.

Thank you Mary Rose Keane for reminding us of childhood memories that now will continue onto the next. … 5033878647

It can be bought at:

Review by popular kids website


In a new kids activities book “Up, Up and A Play: Over 80 Engaging Crafts and Activities from the Past to Ignite Your Child’s Imagination”, children’s activity blogger and mum, Mary Rose Keane, invites you into her Irish childhood, trading today’s chaos for yesterday’s simplicity. Find out what our parent reviewer thought of it.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book to review by the author. I was not paid for the review and the opinions in this review are entirely mine.

What is it?

“Up, Up and A Play” is new book with old pastimes reimagined for present day. It aims to “invigorate the imagination with old activities made new again.”

Who is it for?

It’s for parents, to give them ideas (and maybe memories from their own childhood) for simple things to do with their child.

Among the many pastimes, you will find:

  • Vintage crafts
  • Games for rainy days
  • Activities for the great indoors & great outdoors
  • Recipes for nostalgic foods and drinks
  • How-to guides for old-fashioned birthday celebrations, traditional party games, and vintage picnics (including snacks and decorations!)
  • Seasonal traditions and holiday ideas for special occasions (Easter, Halloween, and Christmas)

Mary Rose wrote and self-published this book and I have to say she did an excellent job. The book is high quality with lovely pictures of each activity, nicely written text and simple instructions that are easy to follow.

I liked the style of the book in that it feels retro but it is written for a modern audience. It’s got a nice mixture of activities between recipes, crafts, games and songs.

For example, we had fun making fortune tellers – remember them? All you need is a piece of paper, scissors and some markers. We spent a pleasant half hour creating our fortune tellers then had much hilarity telling each other’s fortunes!

It would make a lovely gift book, but also nice to own a copy for yourself to dip in and out of when needed, for example for parties or seasonal activities.

Marks out of 5

I would give this a 5 out of 5. The quality of the content and the writing are top notch and I think any reader would enjoy this book again and again.

Where can I get it?

Buy a signed copy now

Or it is also available from


the following online retailers


Reviews on Amazon

By Jane Gormley on 19 April 2015

The perfect gift that will allow anyone to fondly reminisce on …

This book vividly brought me back to the simpler days of my childhood within seconds. It perfectly captures the whirlwind of imagination and creativity that came so naturally to us as children. In a world now ruled by Nintendos and iPods, this book reignites that innovative spark that we all evidently had from an early age. The perfect gift that will allow anyone to fondly reminisce on the simple little things we truly cherished as children!


By Catherine O’Shea on 14 May 2015

Beautifully produced book that will provide you lots of ideas to entertain your kids on those frequent rainy days, and when the weather is better there is plenty of outdoor games and crafts to try aswell. I have both young girls and boys so there is plenty that appeals to both. This book would also make a beautiful gift for a baby shower, new Mum or birthday.


By fiona conneely on 14 April 2015

A wonderfully simple book that helps you to enjoy your children …

A wonderfully simple book that helps you to enjoy your children and share with them the fun that was to be had with chalk, coloured paper and a skipping rope! This will bring out the child in us all and help us to remember that children really just need our time and their imaginations to have the bestest of times!!! x

By Mr. John Shaughnessy
A Beautiful Book! As they say ” The greatest gift you can give your child is your time” This book it full of wonderful activities you can do with your children. Great for the summer holidays!



Book/gift shops in Ireland

Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, Galway

Books n More, Oranmore, Galway

The Gift Shop, Glenties, Co. Donegal

Fourmasters Bookshop, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal







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